Friday, December 3, 2010

Hit the Gas and Go Around (or Holy Scary Snowstorm! Part II)

Still wondering how I survived driving in the storm mentioned on Wednesday?

Here’s what I did. As the fog thinned enough for me to see the tail lights of the SUV in front of me, I decided (at first) to follow that person. As long as they stayed on the road, so did I, and when they didn’t hit ice and slide around, neither did I.

Unfortunately, that only worked for a few miles.

Turned out, the incline was too much for that particular vehicle. The driver chose to slow down at some point, and ended up sliding backward. Bad for two reasons. One, they were sliding toward me (eek!). Two, I had to slow down to avoid them, and ended up starting to slide backward as well. Solution? Hit the gas and go around that SUV. (I was already in 4WD, thank goodness.)

Next, I tried driving behind a snowplow, because in the past, I’ve discovered there’s no better place to be while driving in a snowstorm. They’re spreading salt or sand, and plowing the worst of the snow out of the way, right? Not so in this case. No salt, and the plow wasn’t picking up much snow because everything was ice. The large tires threw a lot of slush on my windshield, impeding what small amount of visibility I’d gained. And my traction was no better than before. Not only that, the plow was sliding too. Solution? Hit the gas and go around.

That night I passed vehicles of all sizes and capabilities stuck in various positions of distress. I have no idea why some did well and others didn’t. Maybe it was timing, or driver mistakes, or possibly just dumb luck.

The journey that should’ve taken me 40 minutes took over two hours, but I did not stop. Sometimes I followed other vehicles, sometimes I forged my own path. Once I slid and once narrowly avoided doing a 360 merging onto an interchange, but I never allowed myself to stop or go off course. I prayed the whole way, shaking in fear of all the what ifs, but I kept my eyes ahead, having faith that even though I couldn’t see it, the goal was ahead of me and within reach.

I succeeded in making it to the airport the same way I’ll succeed in the other important goals in my life. One mile (or one step) at a time, using my best judgment, and more often than not relying on faith that I have the ability to see it all through.

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Angela Felsted said...

Great post. I like how you put a nice little spin on the end of it. No pun intended.

WindyA said...

One mile at a time. Some journeys take longer than others. And if you just accept it, you won't be crazy by the time you reach your destination. Right?

Carolyn V. said...

How scary! We hunkered down during the storm. It was awful!

You'll totally make your writing destination. The keep going is the hard part. =)

Shari said...

I love the object lesson in your story. It's true. One step, mile or word at a time.

ali said...

This is me and weight loss. Well, there hasn't been any weight loss, only weight gain, which I'm pretty sure went on the same way (one bite or one funsize candy bar at a time). So, I need to take it off the same way.

Become a successful writer: One word at a time.

Become fit and healthy: One step at a time.

It's a plan. :)

Heather Justesen said...

Yikes! And you made it sound like it was no big deal when you mentioned your safe trip earlier. Holy cow, girl! Good think you left the car at home.

Shanda said...

I once had to drive my hubby to the airport at 5 AM, in a blizzard just like you described only not quite so icy, with ALL of our kids in the van. It was a white knuckle ride for sure! So glad Heavenly Father was watching over you and your hubby. BTW- what kind of vehicle were you driving? Sounds like it handle things pretty well, though the driver gets most of the credit. :)

Shanda :)

Kellie said...

That is so scary. I'm glad you are ok and didn't get in an accident or anything. This is part of why I want to live in south east Texas. Snow is a novelty, not an annoyance there.